I don’t know if “Pineapple Express” executive producer, co-screenwriter, actor – and if you ask him about the title track by Huey Lewis – composer Seth Rogen really smokes dope. But, he sure gets a kick out of answering questions about it.
“The original idea for the film came from (megaproducer) Judd Apatow,” Rogen said during a recent press conference in L.A. “He just kind of had the loose notion of like, 'What about a weed action movie?'
“Me and (writing pal) Evan Goldberg thought that could be rad and, basically, we started thinking about making a movie that was kind of a weed movie and action movie and had a real kind of friendship story.”
All the smoking done on screen by Rogen, as a stoned process server, and his drug dealer, played dumb by the smart James Franco, sure seemed real enough. I mean, in one scene, Hollywood’s newest comic superstar exhales a thick puff of smoke then inhales it all back in.
“That is a pretty good one, huh?” Rogen acknowledged. “Just growing up in Vancouver, you kind of learn that one early. Through the nose, I've heard someone call it a ‘Ghost Face.’ From now on, it's called. ‘The Rogen.’ Do it with your friends.”
Regardless, the 26-year-old star, whose character in “Knocked Up” also flashed his share of pot on screen, wouldn’t say if he was into some serious method acting.
“I guess so. I mean, no,” Rogen said with a chuckle. “I don't smoke weed on set all day. I just want to say that, you know, not all day. After lunch you get tired. What can you do?"
“To me, the fact that a character smokes weed isn't really what I hang my hat on, necessarily. To me, it’s just like Arthur (the alcoholic played by Dudley Moore in the 1981 movie of the same name) and James Bond aren't the same because they both drink. So, I would kind of equate it to that. They're different guys who both have a similar habit. To me, they're very different guys, though."
“And, no, we weren’t really smoking,” Rogen added. “It’s this shit called Wizard Smoke. I didn't like it, but Franco didn't have that hard of a time with it. Franco will smoke anything. One thing about this guy, if you put it in front of him, he'll smoke it. It's like non-alcoholic weed. It's like the O'Doul's of weed.”
And we take it there’s no pot smoking in Rogen’s next starrer/screenplay, “The Green Hornet?"
“Right. We’ll put the green in 'The Green Hornet.' No. There isn't any (smoking) at all actually,” said Rogen, whose latest film goes head to head with the obviously milder “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” this week. “Violence is OK, though. Luckily the MPAA decided that violence is fine. When you're doing an action movie, you can really have as much violence as you want."
“Not so much drugs or sex, however. In writing 'The Green Hornet,' fortunately we haven't hit many situations where we’re like, 'You know what would make this scene better? If Kato said cocksucker.' “
Rogen said that with a “straight” face, too. Or was it really the proverbial great stone(r) face?
John M. Urbancich
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